Maybe he’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Or maybe it’s a genius combination of the two.
Beauty influencer Manny Mua – aka Manny Gutierrez — hinted earlier this year that he had two major collaborations in the works, according to Teen Vogue. And now he’s finally able to announce one of them: The beloved social media star has teamed up with a female counterpart, the über-popular Shayla, to star in makeup giant Maybelline’s new ad campaign for Colossal Big Shot mascara.
This marks the second major campaign by a leading beauty brand to choose a man as its spokesperson. The first, of course, was CoverGirl, which crowned 17-year-old YouTube makeup sensation James Charles Dickerson its first-ever cover boy in October.
And the chiseled Mua not only brings his prowess for makeup application, his perfect face, and his bubbly personality to the table — he also has 3 million followers on Instagram, more than 2 million subscribers on YouTube, and a loyal Snapchat following, all of whom are cheering on his groundbreaking business venture. It’s the perfect marriage of social media superstar and respected leader in drugstore cosmetics.
In a video for the campaign, Mua’s and Shayla’s eyes light up as they open a briefcase that’s overflowing with glimmering gold tubes of Colossal Big Shot mascara — the latest product launch for Maybelline. Close-ups of the influencers — Shayla boasts more than 2 million followers on Instagram — show them expertly applying the mascara to dramatic effect. The clip is dreamy, glamorous, fun, and full of attitude — just like the guy they tapped to front the campaign.
Anne-Marie Nelson Bogle, senior vice president of marketing at Maybelline New York, said in a statement, “[Mua and Shayla] represented the ‘boss’ beauty attitude in this mascara campaign like no one else could, bringing to life this message onscreen to inspire their millions of fans, as they do on a daily basis, to also ‘lash like a boss,'” according to Bustle.
Mua, 25, made a daring decision a few years ago to ditch medical school so he could pursue his dream of becoming a makeup artist. He told Teen Vogue, “I did have pushback in the beginning of my career because my parents weren’t really sure what I was going to do with my life going in the route of makeup. I was planning on medical school so when I threw the makeup wrench at them, they were not expecting that.”
But he went on to work at Sephora and MAC counters, and gradually built up his colossal social media following by posting hilarious yet on-point makeup tutorials. (See: No Mirror Makeup Challenge and 5-Minute Makeup Challenge as well as Beautybay Holiday Haul and One Brand Tutorial.) It’s hard not to love Manny Mua and his joie de vivre!
Mua posted the announcement of his collaboration to Instagram, writing, “2017 you are off to an AMAZING START OMG! So excited to finally announce that I am part of the @maybelline #bigshotmascara campaign! Honestly I couldn’t be more honored thrilled! Thank you to Maybelline for taking a chance on me! I look forward to working together so much more #Maybellinepartner #IworkedwithMaybellineOMG #pinchme #notthathardthough.”
The post has garnered an enthusiastic 735,000-plus views and more than 6,000 comments to date, with fans writing, “WOW this is great Latino power!!! Congratulations!!! Mucho Amor,” and “this is life!! So excited for you I feel like you’re my bestie and winning at life!!!”
Of course, men wearing makeup is nothing new — what’s new is that they’re finally getting mainstream recognition for it. In the recent past, look only to some of your favorite rock and pop stars (David Bowie, Keith Richards, Dave Navarro) and actor/musicians (Johnny Depp, Jared Leto, Russell Brand). According to the Charlotte Tilbury brand, though, it stretches beyond that.
The earliest men to wear makeup, as far as we know, were in China and Japan in 3000 B.C. The ancient Romans wore cosmetics, as did Louis XIII. And, as the brand website states, “Alexander the Great was ridiculed throughout ancient literature for wearing make-up. He was undefeated in battle and ruled the largest empire of the ancient world.”
Think also of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, such as King Tut, and even black-and-white movie stars like Cary Grant — or almost any man onscreen or stage.
It seems like a natural progression that men would eventually come to the forefront to represent beauty brands and the men who love to make up. As Mua says in his Instagram description, “I think boys deserve just as much cosmetic recognition.” Well, looks like your dream is coming true, Mua. Keep being a boss.